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A materials science vision of extracellular matrix mineralization

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Nature Reviews Materials

Springer Nature

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      Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification.

      Microenvironments appear important in stem cell lineage specification but can be difficult to adequately characterize or control with soft tissues. Naive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are shown here to specify lineage and commit to phenotypes with extreme sensitivity to tissue-level elasticity. Soft matrices that mimic brain are neurogenic, stiffer matrices that mimic muscle are myogenic, and comparatively rigid matrices that mimic collagenous bone prove osteogenic. During the initial week in culture, reprogramming of these lineages is possible with addition of soluble induction factors, but after several weeks in culture, the cells commit to the lineage specified by matrix elasticity, consistent with the elasticity-insensitive commitment of differentiated cell types. Inhibition of nonmuscle myosin II blocks all elasticity-directed lineage specification-without strongly perturbing many other aspects of cell function and shape. The results have significant implications for understanding physical effects of the in vivo microenvironment and also for therapeutic uses of stem cells.
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        The control of human mesenchymal cell differentiation using nanoscale symmetry and disorder.

        A key tenet of bone tissue engineering is the development of scaffold materials that can stimulate stem cell differentiation in the absence of chemical treatment to become osteoblasts without compromising material properties. At present, conventional implant materials fail owing to encapsulation by soft tissue, rather than direct bone bonding. Here, we demonstrate the use of nanoscale disorder to stimulate human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to produce bone mineral in vitro, in the absence of osteogenic supplements. This approach has similar efficiency to that of cells cultured with osteogenic media. In addition, the current studies show that topographically treated MSCs have a distinct differentiation profile compared with those treated with osteogenic media, which has implications for cell therapies.
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          Nature’s hierarchical materials

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Nature Reviews Materials
            Nat. Rev. Mater.
            Springer Nature
            2058-8437
            June 14 2016
            June 14 2016
            : 1
            : 8
            : 16041
            10.1038/natrevmats.2016.41
            © 2016
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